It is rarely a dull occasion when Liverpool and Manchester City collide and there promises to be more fireworks on Merseyside today.
Unbeaten Liverpool went into the weekend sitting a point clear of today’s opponents at the top-flight summit despite their wild 3-3 draw at Brentford last time out, though Chelsea have since gone top of the pile following their win over 10-man Southampton yesterday.
Jurgen Klopp’s prolific hosts have been scoring for fun so far this season, yet questions have been raised over their defensive nous despite the return from injury of Virgil van Dijk.
Defending champions City, by contrast, have conceded just one goal in the league all season – back on opening day – and another clean sheet here would equal an impressive club record.
Pep Guardiola’s side ran out emphatic 4-1 winners on this ground en route to their dominant title triumph last season, while Liverpool have won just one of the last seven meetings between the two clubs across all competitions.
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No Divock Origi on the Liverpool bench this afternoon, by the way.
The Belgian striker misses out through illness.
Guardiola makes two Man City changes
As for Man City, they show two changes from the side beaten 2-0 by a Lionel Messi-inspired Paris Saint-Germain in France.
Phil Foden makes his first Premier League start of the season and Gabriel Jesus also returns to the starting lineup, with Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling both dropping to the bench.
Liverpool unchanged from Porto win
So Liverpool stick with the same starting XI that walloped FC Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday, with James Milner deputising for Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back once more.
Man City team
Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Joao Cancelo, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Foden, Grealish
Subs: Stones, Ake, Sterling, Steffen, Torres, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Carson, Palmer
Alisson, Milner, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Jones, Salah, Jota, Mane
Subs: Konate, Keita, Firmino, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Tsimikas, Kelleher, Williams
Lineups on the way
Just over 10 minutes now until we get word of the official team news from Anfield.
Will either Klopp or Guardiola spring a surprise with their respective selections for this key encounter this afternoon?
Stay tuned to find out…
Calm before the storm
The weather looking much better on Merseyside than down in London…
Klopp frustrated by Covid vaccine reluctance among players
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has received praise this week for his comments on Covid-19 vaccinations, expressing frustration with the reluctance of some Premier League players to get jabbed.
“I got the vaccination because I was concerned about myself but even more so for everyone else around me,” Klopp said.
He added: “Where did I get the knowledge from that I think it makes sense to get the vaccination? I called doctors who I’ve known for years.
“Most specialists tell us the vaccination is the solution for the situation in this moment.”
Guardiola reflects on Man City bus attack
Manchester City’s team bus was attacked before a Champions League quarter-final tie at Anfield back in 2018, but Guardiola does not expect a repeat of those disgraceful scenes ever again.
“Hopefully, I wish it is never going to happen ever again,” he said.
Asked how bad that experience was this week, Guardiola said: “You cannot imagine, but I am pretty sure the Liverpool police and the Liverpool people understand the situation is not going to happen again.”
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